PKG_ADD(1)              NetBSD General Commands Manual              PKG_ADD(1)

     pkg_add -- a utility for installing and upgrading software package dis-

     pkg_add [-AfInRUuVv] [-C config] [-K pkg_dbdir] [-m machine] [-P destdir]
             [-p prefix] file ...
             [[ftp|http]://[user][:password]@]host[:port][/path/]pkg-name ...

     The pkg_add command is used to extract and upgrade packages that have
     been previously created with the pkg_create(1) command.  Packages are
     prepared collections of pre-built binaries, documentation, configura-
     tions, installation instructions and/or other files.  pkg_add can recur-
     sively install other packages that the current package depends on or
     requires from both local disk and via FTP or HTTP.

     Since the pkg_add command may execute scripts or programs contained
     within a package file, your system may be susceptible to ``Trojan
     horses'' or other subtle attacks from miscreants who create dangerous
     package files.

     You are advised to verify the competence and identity of those who pro-
     vide installable package files.  For extra protection, use the digital
     signatures provided where possible (see the pkg_install.conf(5)), or,
     failing that, use tar(1) to extract the package file, and inspect its
     contents and scripts to ensure it poses no danger to your system's
     integrity.  Pay particular attention to any +INSTALL or +DEINSTALL files,
     and inspect the +CONTENTS file for @cwd, @mode (check for setuid),
     @dirrm, @exec, and @unexec directives, and/or use the pkg_info(1) command
     to examine the package file.

     The following command line arguments are supported:

     pkg-name [...]
             The named packages are installed.  pkg_add will first try to use
             pkg-name as full URL or path name without any wildcard process-
             ing.  If that fails, pkg_add will try to match packages using
             wildcard processing.  If that fails as well and pkg-name does not
             contain any /, the entries of the PKG_PATH variable are searched
             using the wildcard processing rules.

     -A      Mark package as installed automatically, as dependency of another
             package.  You can use
                   pkg_admin set automatic=YES
             to mark packages this way after installation, and
                   pkg_admin unset automatic
             to remove the mark.  If you pkg_add a package without specifying
             -A after it had already been automatically installed, the mark is

     -C config
             Read the configuration file from config instead of the system

     -f      Force installation to proceed even if prerequisite packages are
             not installed or the install script fails.  Although pkg_add will
             still try to find and auto-install missing prerequisite packages,
             a failure to find one will not be fatal.  This flag also over-
             rides the fatal error when the operating system or architecture
             the package was built on differ from that of the host.

     -D      Force updating even if the dependencies of depending packages are
             not satisfied by the new package.  This is used by "make
             replace", after which one would typically replace the depending

     -I      If an installation script exists for a given package, do not exe-
             cute it.

     -K pkg_dbdir
             Override the value of the PKG_DBDIR configuration option with the
             value pkg_dbdir.

     -m      Override the machine architecture returned by uname with machine.

     -n      Don't actually install a package, just report the steps that
             would be taken if it was.

     -P destdir
             Prefix all file and directory names with destdir.  For packages
             without install scripts this has the same behavior as using

     -p prefix
             Override the prefix stored in the package with prefix.

     -R      Do not record the installation of a package.  This implies -I.
             This means that you cannot deinstall it later, so only use this
             option if you know what you are doing!

     -U      Replace an already installed version from a package.  Implies -u.

     -u      If the package that's being installed is already installed, an
             update is performed.  Installed dependent packages are updated
             recursively, if they are too old to fulfill the dependencies of
             the to-be-installed version.  See below for a more detailed
             description of the process.

     -V      Print version number and exit.

     -v      Turn on verbose output.

     One or more pkg-name arguments may be specified, each being either a file
     containing the package (these usually ending with the ``.tgz'' suffix) or
     a URL pointing at a file available on an ftp or web site.  Thus you may
     extract files directly from their anonymous ftp or WWW locations (e.g.,
     ages/NetBSD/i386/3.1_2007Q2/shells/bash-3.2.9.tgz or pkg_add  Note:  For ftp trans-
     fers, if you wish to use passive mode ftp in such transfers, set the
     variable FTP_PASSIVE_MODE to some value in your environment.  Otherwise,
     the more standard ACTIVE mode may be used.  If pkg_add consistently fails
     to fetch a package from a site known to work, it may be because you have
     a firewall that demands the usage of passive mode ftp.

     pkg_add extracts each package's meta data (including the ``packing
     list'') to memory and then runs through the following sequence to fully
     extract the contents of the package:

           1.   A check is made to determine if the package or another version
                of it is already recorded as installed.  If it is, installa-
                tion is terminated if the -u or -U options are not given.

                If the same version is installed and -U is not given, it is
                marked as manually installed and process stops.  If the -u
                option is given, it's assumed the package should be replaced
                by the new version instead.  Before doing so, all packages
                that depend on the pkg being upgraded are checked if they also
                work with the new version.  If that test is not successful,
                the dependent packages are updated first.  The replacing is
                then prepared by moving an existing +REQUIRED_BY file aside
                (if it exists), and running pkg_delete(1) on the installed
                package.  Installation then proceeds as if the package was not
                installed, and restores the +REQUIRED_BY file afterwards.

           2.   The package build information is extracted from the
                +BUILD_INFO file and compared against the result of uname(3).
                If the operating system or architecture of the package differ
                from that of the host, installation is aborted.  This behavior
                is overridable with the -f flag.

           3.   The package build information from +BUILD_INFO is then checked
                for USE_ABI_DEPENDS=NO (or IGNORE_RECOMMENDED).  If the pack-
                age was built with ABI dependency recommendations ignored, a
                warning will be issued.

           4.   A check is made to determine if the package conflicts (from
                @pkgcfl directives, see pkg_create(1)) with an already
                recorded as installed package or if an installed package con-
                flicts with the package.  If it is, installation is termi-

           5.   The file list of the package is compared to the file lists of
                the installed packages.  If there is any overlap, the instal-
                lation is terminated.

           6.   All package dependencies (from @pkgdep directives, see
                pkg_create(1)) are read from the packing list.  If any of
                these required packages are not currently installed, an
                attempt is made to find and install it; if the missing package
                cannot be found or installed, the installation is terminated.

           7.   If the package contains an install script, it is executed with
                the following arguments:

                pkg-name      The name of the package being installed.

                PRE-INSTALL   Keyword denoting that the script is to perform
                              any actions needed before the package is

                If the install script exits with a non-zero status code, the
                installation is terminated.

           8.   The files from the file list are extracted to the chosen pre-

           9.   If an install script exists for the package, it is executed
                with the following arguments:

                pkg_name      The name of the package being installed.

                POST-INSTALL  Keyword denoting that the script is to perform
                              any actions needed after the package has been

           10.  After installation is complete, a copy of the packing list,
                deinstall script, description, and display files are copied
                into <PKG_DBDIR>/<pkg-name> for subsequent possible use by
                pkg_delete(1).  Any package dependencies are recorded in the
                other packages' +REQUIRED_BY file.

           11.  Finally, if we were upgrading a package, any +REQUIRED_BY file
                that was moved aside before upgrading was started is now moved
                back into place.

     The install script is called with the environment variable PKG_PREFIX set
     to the installation prefix (see the -p option above).  This allows a
     package author to write a script that reliably performs some action on
     the directory where the package is installed, even if the user might
     change it with the -p flag to pkg_add.  The scripts are also called with
     the PKG_METADATA_DIR environment variable set to the location of the +*
     meta-data files, and with the PKG_REFCOUNT_DBDIR environment variable set
     to the location of the package reference counts database directory.  If
     the -P flag was given to pkg_add, PKG_DESTDIR will be set to destdir.
     Additionally, PKG_METADATA_DIR and PKG_REFCOUNT_DBDIR are prefixed with

     See pkg_install.conf(5) for options, that can also be specified using the

     In all cases, pkg_add will try to install binary packages listed in
     dependencies list.

     You can specify a compiled binary package explicitly on the command line.

     # pkg_add /usr/pkgsrc/packages/All/tcsh-6.14.00.tgz

     If you omit the version number, pkg_add will install the latest version
     available.  With -v, pkg_add emits more messages to terminal.

     # pkg_add -v /usr/pkgsrc/packages/All/unzip

     You can grab a compiled binary package from remote location by specifying
     a URL.  The base URL can also be provided by the configuration variable,

     # pkg_add -v

     # export PKG_PATH=
     # pkg_add -v firefox

     pkg_admin(1), pkg_create(1), pkg_delete(1), pkg_info(1),
     pkg_install.conf(5), pkgsrc(7)

     Jordan Hubbard
             Initial work and ongoing development.
     John Kohl
             NetBSD refinements.
     Hubert Feyrer
             NetBSD wildcard dependency processing, pkgdb, upgrading, etc.
     Thomas Klausner
             HTTP support.
     Joerg Sonnenberger
             Rewrote most of the code base to work without external commands.

     Package upgrading needs a lot more work to be really universal.

     Sure to be others.

NetBSD 7.0                     December 27, 2014                    NetBSD 7.0

You can also request any man page by name and (optionally) by section:


Use the DEFAULT collection to view manual pages for third-party software.

©1994 Man-cgi 1.15, Panagiotis Christias
©1996-2017 Modified for NetBSD by Kimmo Suominen